ISLAMABAD - Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) on Saturday launched a country wide 'Child Protection Campaign' in 40 districts to sensitize general public through training on issues of child protection, children's rights and ways to ensure security of children, said Minister of State and BISP Chairperson Marvi Memon said on Saturday

Memon said that the BISP on behalf of the federal government has initiated this campaign for the safety of the children and as a next step these training would be imparted to 60,000 BISP beneficiary committees across the country.

She said that the BISP has set up a hotline 0800-26477 for entertaining complaints about child abuse and to them up with relevant agencies for action.

"The BISP, the custodian of 5.6 million families across the country and having a countrywide outreach through 450 offices and a vast network of 60,000 beneficiary committees, offers its platform to all organizations and institutions to work for the cause of child protection, Memon said during the countrywide launch of 'BISP child protection campaign'.

The campaign was simultaneously launched in 40 districts across the country by BISP officials and parliamentarians who would advance the campaign in their respective constituencies. 

Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal in Narowal, Chaudhry Muhammad Ashraf in Sahiwal, Tahira Aurangzeb in Rawalpindi, Nighat Parveen in Jhelum, Asyia Naz Tanoli in Wah Cantt, Farhana Qamar and Zahra Wadood Fatemiin in Islamabad, Dr Shezra Mansib Ali Khan in Nankana Sahib, Rana Muhammad Qasim Noon in Multan, Chaudhry Mahmood Bashir Virk in Gujranwala, Rasheed Ahmed Khan in Kasur, Naeema Kishwar Khan in Mardan, Begum Tahira Bukhari in Peshawar, Babar Nawaz in Haripur and Sorath Thebo in Dadu launched the BISP campaign.

BISP beneficiary mothers, children, members of parliament, academia, civil society, media, various INGOs and NGOs working on child protection like Sahil, UNICEF, UN Women, Oxfam International and others participated in the campaign.

During the event, the BISP beneficiary women and children were sensitized through training on issues of child protection, children's rights and ways to ensure the security of children through video documentaries, IEC (information, education and communication) material and animated and illustrative messaging.

Different aspects of child protection, the role of parents, teachers, leaders, government, members of society, legal procedures regarding child protection were discussed. The campaign also highlighted different methods to inform children on the issue. Children were also trained to undertake the strategy of "shout, run and inform the parents" in the situation of any kind of abuse.

In his opening remarks, BISP Secretary Omar Hamid Khan said that besides various initiatives for the welfare of the beneficiaries, the BISP has launched this campaign to sensitize parents and children on the issue of child protection as children were the future of any nation.

He explained the safety measures parents should take for the safety of their children. Faisal Qureshi said that "saving children from any abuse is the prime responsibility of parents".

He suggested that besides seeking assistance from government and law enforcement agencies, mothers can form committees and take up matters of child abuse with the elders of the community to deal with the problem.